I was inspired by this article on “How To Use If-Then Planning To Achieve Any Goal” and after practicing the “If-Then” for months now, I can recommend it to all of you. At least, it works for me in 50-70% of the time, especially when it comes to delivering results by building a disciplined work schedule.

Here are my examples of using “If-Then” statement in my daily & weekly routine.

If it is 1st Monday of the month, then transfer rent to landlord.

If it is noon, then take the next 5 minutes to complete whatever that I am doing.

If it is Thursday, then schedule a call with one of my relatives.

Well, I tend to practice perhaps 10-20 (out of 100) of my If-Then statements regularly, this is why I don’t have a 100% success rate and falls somewhere between 50-70%. Nevertheless, I do appreciate the fact that being able to carry on with simple routine automatically is a great productivity hack, for some, it might be boring though (I am, at times, bored).

For those who are unaware, “If-Then” statement are primarily one of the basic functions in programming. Henceforth, the utilization of the “If-Then” statement as a productivity hack might resonate more with certain group of people who are ok with routine or like precision in their daily routine and the list goes on. I think it suits me due to my irrational approach to rationality, enjoyment of precision work (not being perfectionist though) and ability to build quick habits.

How Can You Get Started?

  • Start with THREE If-Then Statements that can be applied within a week.
  • Repeat for A month
  • Next Month, Reflect
  • What did you achieve?
  • Any Web Tool?
    Well, there are certain a bunch of web app/phone app out there. I’m not using anything in particular given that I am pretty used to my schedule and started off using Evernote to note down the list of conditional to-dos.

    Here are tools that I could suggest:
    Evernote, Notepad, Google Sheet and Any.Do
    They are free to use and also come with premium service (Evernote and Any.do).

    What Are The Benefits?
    I believe the one major reward from such practice is time-saving. For me, it removes the hassles of missing out rent payment or bill payment in due time. Basing myself on the “If it is day X, then I must do Y task.”
    The other rewards could be a mental decluttering of your thinking effort and the automation of certain decision-making that happens on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. Similarly but not related to “If-Then” statement, I bought a few t-shirts of the same brand/model, and wear them as often as possible (70% of the time), thus allowing me NOT to be bothered by what to wear.

    If it is meeting day, then I wear a more formal shirt which I would prepare on the eve, and most important, I also have a limited option on formal shirt.

    Don’t let the day go away without completing critical tasks. Avoid assuming that simply mental model like the “If-Then” are irrational or “too simple” until you’ve tried it.

    Share your thoughts below and don’t forget to share this productivity hack with your friends!

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